August 27, 2013 at 3:30 PM
The Arizona Fall League (AFL) released its rosters for the 2013 season this afternoon, and six Red Sox prospects are on the list. Garin Cecchini, Travis Shaw, Derrik Gibson, Keith Couch, Noe Ramirez, and Pete Ruiz will all be playing for the Surprise Saguaros, along with prospects from the Brewers, Indians, Orioles, and Rangers organizations. The Red Sox usually send seven or eight players to the league, so expect another player or two to be added as the final rosters take shape.
Cecchini has vaulted himself up the prospect charts this season thanks to a .322/.445/.470 line in 122 games between High-A Salem and Double A Portland. The third baseman is a lock to be added to the 40-man roster after this season since he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and the Red Sox are simply sending him to get at-bats and also work on his defense at third base.
Shaw and Ramirez are not eligible for the Rule 5 draft until after the 2014 season, but they are two players who could be on the bubble when it comes time to add players next year. Shaw has had a tough season for Portland, batting .218/.339/.387 in 431 at-bats, but he has an advanced approach and has flashed some power in the past. The Red Sox are thin at first base, so it makes sense that they are giving Shaw some extra playing time.
Ramirez has been dominant between Salem and Portland, sporting a 2.32 ERA and allowing only 61 hits in 73 2/3 innings, while striking out 72. He does not have dominant stuff, but has very good control and command while displaying good pitchability. He is definitely an interesting bullpen arm to follow.
Couch, Ruiz, and Gibson will all be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year, but it is unlikely any of them will be protected. Ruiz has the most potential of the three, and he has struck out 65 batters in only 49 innings with the Sea Dogs this year, but he has also walked 26 and holds an ERA of 4.96.
Photo Credit: Garin Cecchini by Kelly O'Connor
Jim Crowell is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com